Thursday, February 09, 2012

Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

♔ Details

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: 18 October 2011
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♔ Summary
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

♔ Review

The Scorpio Races is way more than just a fine read. Admittedly, I didn't like the first book of Maggie Stiefvater's other series, The Wolves of Mercy Falls, much. After reading The Scorpio Races, though, now I blame it all on the translation of the book (I read the Catalan version). Which convinced me further that the original version is the best.

The Scorpio Races are a kind of horse race that is held every fall, attracting tourists from the far mainland and capturing the attention of all the villagers during those months. What makes them so special is that they are run on the beach, by the sea, and riding sea horses. Not normal horses... deadly ones.

The idea that first got my attention was the sea horses. I'm all for masterfully worked magic or special creatures, and Maggie Stiefvater didn't let me down at all. You see, the sea horses or capalli uisce are horses that usually live at the sea, but when fall comes, they are drawn to earth. They are bigger, stronger, faster than normal horses and oh, they are also carnivorous. Have I mentioned that I do not like normal horses? I've been afraid of them since I was little. Don't ask me why. So yeah, you can see my "love" for the sea horses. BUT. Through the author's writing and words, I ended up liking the horses, even the sea horses. The two main characters, Puck and Sean, had affinity to horses. They understood them perfectly. It was incredible, seeing the horses through their eyes. Though more extraordinarily was to see the sea horses through Sean's eyes, the best of the village when it came to handling them... because he totally understood them. It was incredible. But just when I started to like those deadly creatures... Let's just say that Maggie doesn't let us forget even for one moment how incredibly dangerous they are.

The characterization is another great thing of the book. Maggie Stiefvater is so great that with a single sentence about a character, you felt like you already knew them. Just one sentence! But all their actions, the things they said, defined them to perfection.

I ended the book LOVING Maggie Stiefvater's writing. So good, almost otherworldly. Every sentence, every paragraph, artfully placed and written so the text had its own rhythm and life. The world was magic, but her writing was, too.

♔ Rating



Nikki said...

Ahh. I just love this book so much. The writing and characters in this book are breathtaking. Great review!

Alison Can Read said...

I've never been a big horse fan either but I loved this book. I agree that Maggie's writing is almost otherworldly. Great review!

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